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Old 1st June 2020, 02:03   #1
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Default Vehicle involved in an accident while it was lent to a friend - Should he cover the financial loss?

The intention of this thread is to understand the opinion of fellow BHPians on what they would do in the particular situation that I am in. Let me say beforehand that nobody was hurt in this accident and both parties involved were riding together and hence reached an understanding and the damages were mostly to the bikes than the people involved.

I generally have the habit of lending my vehicles to friends when requested, even though I am not completely happy about it. I have difficulty saying no to someone's face and i knew eventually this would come back and bite me. Although things could have been much worse, this bad habit of mine did come back and bit me recently.

The incident happened right before the Lock down. I was already back in Kochi a few days before the lock down was announced and one of my colleague called me to ask since the company has announced mandatory work from home and all buses and trains were being cancelled, would it be ok if he drove down to Kochi from Bangalore in my FZ25. He would be joined by another mutual friend who had his own Dominar and was planning to ride down the same day. Even though I was a little apprehensive, considering the special circumstances I gave my node.

Next day by noon, he called to say that they had met with an accident near Thrissur and the colleague in my FZ25 crashed into the back of the other friend's Dominar, while braking for a signal. I immediately drove down to the spot and by the time I reached, my FZ was already towed to a nearby Yamaha Service center, since a crack on the alloy meant it could not be driven. The Dominar only had a punctured rear tyre and most of the impact was absorbed by his saddle stay hence the bike was still drivable. So I had picked up a used tyre from a shop on the way, as replacement so that he could drive back to Kochi and drop the bike for repair in the service center he personally knows.

My colleague who was driving my FZ was visibly shaken and kept assuring me that he would take care of all the repairs and expenses associated. He even said that even though the damages were pretty considerable, he would bear the expenses if I didn't want to make the insurance claim but considering I had Zero depreciation insurance and I had never made a claim before, I said we will go the insurance route.

Now, over the past few weeks, I have been considering many points about this incident. Primarily, my insurance is due next month and when I checked, the premium has gone up quite a bit, technically due to no fault of mine (some might say lending him the bike was my fault but I don't think i deserve a monetary penalization for that! ). Should I ask him to pay the premium for this year or is that too much to ask?

Secondly, on reading the estimate provided by the service center, there are considerable repairs to be done on the bike. Will this in anyway affect the character of the bike? Should I be expecting issues to crop up now, which, again, is due to somebody else's driving? What should be the reasonable expectation from him regarding this whole situation and when is it too much for me to ask?

I would very much like the opinion of fellow BHPians here and any inputs that could be done from my side going forward would also be welcome.

Last edited by Fury : 1st June 2020 at 02:05.
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Old 1st June 2020, 02:22   #2
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Default re: Vehicle involved in an accident while it was lent to a friend - Should he cover the financial loss?

Yes, you should, or ask him to pay the complete bill for repairs. Again it depends how close a friend he is, if he was a very close friend of mine i would have just asked him to pay the extra premium amount over and above last year premium. If he is just a decent friend I would advise you to ask him to pay the entire repair bill, it was his fault after all.

Last edited by AtheK : 1st June 2020 at 02:24.
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Old 1st June 2020, 03:02   #3
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Default re: Vehicle involved in an accident while it was lent to a friend - Should he cover the financial loss?

Appreciate the gesture of helping in dire circumstances. I understand your frustration but I guess nothing can be done. It happens all the time when we lend vehicles to friends and relatives. Recovering for damages is subjective, it is up to you and your friend.

I have faced such situations and I ended up spending every time. To me, this is an accident and that’s it. Insurance is meant for such things. Whatever additional expense incurred is on me as part of my hospitality. Moments like this only build better relationships.

It wouldn’t be the same vehicle with the same refinement level as before. That’s a part of ownership.

Last edited by Thermodynamics : 1st June 2020 at 03:12.
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Old 1st June 2020, 08:44   #4
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Default re: Vehicle involved in an accident while it was lent to a friend - Should he cover the financial loss?

His willingness to pay the loss incurred is enough to prove him as a good friend. There are people who gives excuses such as brake failure in such instances. I would say it's a part of friendship.
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Old 1st June 2020, 09:32   #5
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Default re: Vehicle involved in an accident while it was lent to a friend - Should he cover the financial loss?

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Originally Posted by AtheK View Post
Yes, you should, or ask him to pay the complete bill for repairs.
No matter how good the friend is, ask him to pay.

The reason is, just like you, I have a habit of lending money to friends whenever they need. Trust me, if you cant enforce an agreement, no one will ever pay you back on time and the full amount.

Similarly, getting this guy to pay will send a message to all others who will be discouraged to ask for your bike in the future, if they dont plan to own-up.
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Old 1st June 2020, 10:15   #6
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Default re: Vehicle involved in an accident while it was lent to a friend - Should he cover the financial loss?

I am sorry to hear about the accident. Glad that only vehicles got damaged.

I would like to add another prospect here. Please note that the re-sale value of your bike has significantly reduced due to this accident. As soon as you mention accident and the amount of money you spent, the prospective buyer will surely reduce his offer. I suggest you not to claim insurance if, the money you will lose due to NBC + increase in premium is significant.
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Old 1st June 2020, 10:17   #7
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Default re: Vehicle involved in an accident while it was lent to a friend - Should he cover the financial loss?

If you've already turned his offer to pay for everything down, do not now ask him to pay the premium amount. I am sure the premium is not an unreasonable amount in and of itself that cannot be afforded by you. Simply chalk it up to the costs of friendship and next time don't give your bike to someone else if you do not want to.
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Old 1st June 2020, 10:50   #8
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Default re: Vehicle involved in an accident while it was lent to a friend - Should he cover the financial loss?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fury View Post
The intention of this thread is to understand the opinion of fellow BHPians on what they would do in the particular situation that I am in.
...
I would very much like the opinion of fellow BHPians here and any inputs that could be done from my side going forward would also be welcome.
I have always lent my vehicles (car, bike) to my close friends for varying periods; and they have done / do the same with me. Different personalities; different habits of ownership and driving across the group. But a simple unspoken rule - the loaned vehicle upkeep is in the hands of the person riding/driving the vehicle.

That includes daily cleaning (if needed), servicing and maintenance and repair work when required. A friend who kept and used my car while I was overseas took care of the annual servicing when it came up during his 'ownership'. No questions asked.

If your friends are really who they are, asking for them to handle the net cost of repair is no big deal. But yes, you are doing the right thing by taking the insurance route. It is there for a purpose. After all, he is your friend; so the premium hit and other long term impacts (resale value, etc) should be fine. Let him handle the monetary aspect as he's suggested, and (IMO) don't worry about your habit of lending to your friends. It's a good habit to have with the right friends.
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Old 1st June 2020, 13:13   #9
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Default re: Vehicle involved in an accident while it was lent to a friend - Should he cover the financial loss?

Everything depends on your definition of “Friend” applied for this person, that’s what this entire episode hinges on. I would lend my vehicles to only a very close friend/s, others I have absolutely no problems with saying a polite “no”.

Please cultivate this - very important. Remember, life’s biggest problems happen, when you say Yes when you want to say no.

If this person is considered to be a close friend, then just forget about the money! You have already gone the insurance route for repairs, so now pay the extra premium and put this episode behind you. Nothing happened, forget it. Your friendship will be further strengthened by this incident if you don’t bring the money angle into the situation. Do think about what the other person would do (based on your friendship) if the situation were reversed.

It was an accident, happens sometimes, however careful you are. The other person is feeling bad enough already, relieve him of that and get back to your life.

Cheers
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Old 1st June 2020, 17:33   #10
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Default re: Vehicle involved in an accident while it was lent to a friend - Should he cover the financial loss?

Can you post up a pic of the damaged bike so we can get a better understanding of how bad the hit was? Blank out the plates.

Accidents happen- I'm sure your friend didn't mean to get into such a situation. Since you already agreed to go ahead with claiming the insurance, stick to the plan. Its a gentleman's agreement after all.

I honestly think there is no point making him pay for the complete repairs just to drive home a point. I'm sure he is feeling bad about what happened.

Talk to him face to face (not over the phone) and explain that the bike was given in good faith and at the same time empathize with what happened to him. Explain that you are claiming insurance so he doesn't have to foot the heavy repair bill but you are out of pocket on this whole thing and would like him to contribute towards it. How much is the Annual premium? Ask him to pay a part of it/the whole thing along with the difference amount to repair the bike(i know you have full coverage). I'm sure you'll have some sort of deductible that needs to be paid to the insurer as well.

Regarding resale value dropping, if the work is done properly, there is no way the buyer can tell its had a fall. For bikes, in India, we rarely do much of a background check to see if its had a bad crash. At the max one would take it to a local mech to have it generally checked. As long as the work is done properly and with genuine parts, you need not worry. Also, dont get worried looking at the repair estimate- The service center will always add things to the estimate that aren't even needed.

Stay a gentleman that you have been so far and keep it cordial.

And lastly, use this incident to your advantage when someone asks you for your vehicle again.

Cheers!

Last edited by james : 1st June 2020 at 17:37. Reason: Typo
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Old 1st June 2020, 17:50   #11
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Default re: Vehicle involved in an accident while it was lent to a friend - Should he cover the financial loss?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fury View Post
Now, over the past few weeks, I have been considering many points about this incident. Primarily, my insurance is due next month and when I checked, the premium has gone up quite a bit, technically due to no fault of mine (some might say lending him the bike was my fault but I don't think i deserve a monetary penalization for that! ). Should I ask him to pay the premium for this year or is that too much to ask?
It's your bike, so its your responsibility. That said, if your friend has offered to pay, ask him to pay only the difference amount that is not covered by insurance (and only if that is a significant amount).

Insurance is there for a reason so don't be shy to use it. Your bike should be same as before as its been worked upon the authorised service centre. As long as you are not at a significant monetary loss, don't bother about asking any money from your friend.

This is one of the reasons I ensure I have the max possible insurance on my cars. In case of my Palio, which has only 3rd party, I never lend it to anyone to drive except a trusted few. But other rides like my Abarth, 800 or even my Vespa are lent to friends and family as all of them have comprehensive insurance.
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Old 1st June 2020, 18:03   #12
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Default re: Vehicle involved in an accident while it was lent to a friend - Should he cover the financial loss?

You sign up for eventualities the moment you offer your vehicle to someone; things can go wrong at times. Since he's offered to pay, you can ask him to pay for whatever is not covered by insurance and if this is the only claim this year and you feel cheated that the NCB will be lost, you can ask him to cover that as well.

Nobody gets into accidents intentionally and if they shitty about it (which this guy seems to), you can get your monetary loss covered and move on.
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Old 1st June 2020, 19:15   #13
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Default re: Vehicle involved in an accident while it was lent to a friend - Should he cover the financial loss?

The premium and the expenses should not be a huge amount. Friendship matters more. Leave it. Just pay the premium out of your pocket, call it a day. The fact that your friend has offered to help and not to go via the insurance route itself is good. If your friend insists, just ask him the settle the bill of the service center directly.
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Old 1st June 2020, 20:56   #14
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Default re: Vehicle involved in an accident while it was lent to a friend - Should he cover the financial loss?

It hurts to have our prized possessions damaged, but stuff like this is what we buy insurance for, and your colleague appears to be decent enough to take responsibility for damage he caused.

A fair transaction, if you both agree to it, would be your bike made whole again without impact to your pocket, so claim insurance and have your colleague make up the difference (whatever isn't covered + NCB loss for renewal).
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Old 1st June 2020, 23:23   #15
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Default re: Vehicle involved in an accident while it was lent to a friend - Should he cover the financial loss?

It all depends on the kind of relationship you have with your friend. All I'll say is, every time you insert your key in the ignition, you accept the probability of your vehicle meeting with an accident, however big or small that probability is. And for that very reason, we have insurance cover.

Now, your friend has offered to pay you because he feels guilty about it (which he shouldn't because he obviously didn't mean to damage your vehicle and it's called an accident for heaven's sake). You can either validate his guilt by taking him up on his offer, or you can let it go and send the message that friendship trumps money.
It's your call... Either way, you are sending a message. So choose the message you want to send.
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